My daughter is a huge fan of Lord of the Rings. She designed this costume and asked me to make it for her. She wanted to look like she belonged in Middle Earth without exactly copying a costume from the movies.
She wanted to be a strong female character and she wanted to carry a bow and arrow. We decided a female hunter was a good choice for her.
We wanted earth tone colors with matt finishes. We didn’t want the costume to look store bought with fabrics that were perfectly coordinated. The colors and patterns look good together without that generic store bought look. We choose an upholstery fabric suitable for a period costume. It almost has a camouflage look to it for blending into the forest. I used a commercial pattern for the corset that I adapted by hand sewing on tabs along the bottom of the corset. I also added trim to all the edges and tiny silk ribbon flowers at the neck line for a touch of femininity.
The pants and shirt are stretchy fabric with a very simple design. They are both form fitted, so as not to add bulk to the costume.
The boots were incredibly difficult to make. We couldn’t find boots with a flat heel in the look we wanted. As attractive as heels can be, they are not practical for running through the woods. I found some heavy weight black canvas to make boot spats out of. I have grommets running up the front with cording used as laces. For decoration, I added straps and buckles over the laces. It would have been cheaper to buy boots, but 11 years ago boots were not as available as the are today.
The cape is attached at the shoulders using frogs. The cape is made with a lining and a drawstring about 10 inches from the top. When the drawstring is drawn and and cape is attached to the corset, the lining is exposed at the top for a nice contrast.
The quiver is a cardboard tube covered in fabric that I hand painted over the designs with gold paint. I added trim to the top and bottom and ran a thrift store leather belt through slits in the tube for straps. The arrows are dowels with paper feathers stuck into clay in the bottom of the quiver. The headband is jute and made like a friendship bracelet.
We were happy with the results and my daughter was inspired to keep designing costumes. She was 14 when she designed this costume and now 11 years later has her own little costume design company and makes commissioned costumes for anime conventions. I hope you enjoy!